Bord Bia ranked the most reputable organisation in the State

Agency reclaims top spot from credit unions in annual RepTrak study, with An Post third

Bord Bia has returned to the top spot in a ranking of the most reputable companies and organisations in the State, overtaking credit unions, while An Post has risen four places to third.

St Vincent's Private Hospital came fourth and Boots Ireland fifth in the RepTrak 2021 study published by communications group the Reputations Agency, while the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) was once again ranked bottom of the 100-strong list.

The top 10 was rounded out by Mater Private Network, Toyota, Aldi, Kellogg's and Lidl.

The Irish Times, which ranked 61st overall, was deemed the most “insightful” brand.

The reputations of indigenous organisations emerged stronger than those of multinationals for the first time in the 12-year history of the RepTrak study.

"Over the years pride in indigenous organisations has just gone up and up," said Niamh Boyle, managing director of the Reputations Agency. "People felt Irish organisations were meeting the challenge of Covid and being innovative."

Bord Bia came first for “standing behind its products” and was also scored highly on reputation metrics such as “working for society”, “improving the lives of people and their communities” and “being committed to changing the world for the better”.

Tara McCarthy, the State food and horticultural agency’s chief executive, said Bord Bia was “so proud” to represent the industry at home and abroad.

“Our reputation is inextricably linked to the hard work and commitment of tens of thousands of farmers and food producers across the country who have helped to build trust and confidence in Irish food.”

The RepTrak study tracked perceptions of 100 of the largest, most familiar and most important organisations in the Republic, surveying more than 6,500 people aged 18-64 between January 21st and March 29th.

Stronger image

Overall the reputations of the organisations examined were found to have improved compared to 2020, a finding that echoed a global RepTrak study, but came as a surprise in light of the Covid crisis and its economic toll.

“We thought the overall score would slump as it did after the last recession,” said Ms Boyle.

While Bord Bia and credit unions have tended to swap places at the top in recent years, the rankings confirmed the receipt of a Covid dividend for organisations deemed to have responded well to the pandemic.

As well as An Post’s climb to third, the HSE jumped from 97th to 82nd in the list, with its score increasing by the most of any organisation.

Private health providers were included in the study for the first time and performed better than any other category, with their reputation scores exceeding even those of the food retail sector.

Conversely in a year with little international holidaymaking, Tourism Ireland slipped from sixth to 23rd spot, though in better news for the all-island tourism marketing body it emerged as the organisation most identified with the brand personality trait "charming".

Vaccine producer Pfizer was deemed the most "intelligent", An Garda Síochána the most "courageous", credit unions the most "genuine", Google the most "imaginative" and BMW the most "exciting".

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics